In this fanpost, I'm going to address the sexiest, most controversial and most obvious topic of discussion for the Eagles this offseason.
We've got 'em. They don't grow on trees, and they are considered somewhat important. Slightly. We are in the envious position of possessing 3 quality quarterbacks on our roster. Now, I will examine the possibilities as I try to put an altogether disappointing season behind me because I'm pretty disgusted that we lost to the Cowboys thrice and next year can't get here fast enough.
So... here's the situation: We have too many quarterbacks. There are plenty of the teams that would be instantly upgraded by any of these QBs. Some teams may be in the market for a QB include the Buffalo Bills, the St. Louis Rams, the Cleveland Browns, the Oakland Raiders, the Redskins, the 49ers and even the New York Giants (I kid, I kid... Eli's alright and I'm sure Giants fans are as frustrated as we are this year). Our QB hoarding is one of the main reasons Kyle Boller still has a job. That's not right, dammit.
Donovan McNabb has won a ton of games in his career (many of them with a less than stellar supporting offensive cast), with an impressive postseason resume. Nevertheless, he has never won the Super Bowl and has only played in it once.
Michael Vick is another pro-bowler who has enjoyed moderate post-season success as well. He's not the best passer in the world, but a creative offensive coordinator with the right scheme in place could utilize his skills successfully.
The Eagles had the most surprising and controversial move of the preseason when they signed the embattled Vick to a one-year deal with an option for a second year. It is the belief of myself and many others that the Eagles signed him merely as an investment to turn him into a draft pick or two after the season.
We took the brunt of the public relations firestorm for whoever would potentially make a move for him. He would come with an inexpensive contract and likely at a low cost (a mid round draft pick). He'd sell jerseys and put butts in seats. All these signs point to the likelihood of Vick being gone from Philly.
Kevin Kolb is our own little Aaron Rodgers. He's been riding the pine pony for three years and he got a taste for the big time this year with two starts. He's going to be antsy for playing time and he's got plenty of reasons to think he should be a starting quarterback, either here or somewhere else.
He played pretty well in two games filling in for an injured McNabb in weeks 2 and 3. He threw for approximately 12 billion yards during those two games. Some view him as the future face of the Eagles.
The Buffalo Bills
The Bills have been rotating Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick. There's at least one Bills fan that thinks Trent Edwards is a future hall of famer, but most of them aren't abusing heavy psychoactive substances. Ryan Fitzpatrick's greatest accomplishment was piloting the Bengals to a non-loss against the Eagles in 2008. The Bills have a solid defense and a few offensive weapons to work with. However, their offensive line without Jason Peters has been poor at best. An upgrade at QB would give this team a few more wins, but wouldn't turn them into a postseason team.
This is a team looking to go into full rebuild mode after letting go of their entire coaching staff, the stadium maintenance workers, everyone who sells concessions in Buffalo, and the stadium groundskeepers. They would want a young player, and they would need to give up at least a first round pick to get Kolb. Now, I'm going to make an assumption (about a coach whose identity is yet to be determined), but he'd probably rather draft his own QB than inherit Kolb (unless someone from the Eagles becomes the head coach of the Bills). They might consider Vick as a publicity stunt, but making such a move would do little to improve this team.
Trade likeliness: 2/10
Most likely to trade for: Kolb
The St. Louis Rams
This is a team without an identity. Well, they do kinda have an identity. They're known for using Steven Jackson 400 times a year. Their offensive line is weak, and their receivers need to play better than they have before any opposing teams will decide to cover them instead of putting all 11 players on the line of scrimmage. They have Donnie Avery, Laurent Robinson and Eagles fan favorite Brandon Gibson, who have all showed flashes of brilliance, but have yet to play with consistency. Is that their fault or a combination of the QB and o-line play? We won't know until the OL and QB are upgraded in St. Louis.
Their defense is a sham. This is a one win team with a lot of holes. Steve Spagnuolo will most likely prioritize defense and with good reason. If they were to make a move for one of our QBs, Michael Vick wouldn't be a horrible option for them. He could hold down the fort, make some plays, take a bunch of sacks, sell some seats and some jerseys while they try to get players in place to make strides to improve.
Trade likeliness: 4/10
Most likely to trade for: Vick
The Cleveland Browns
The Browns have Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. Going into the 2008 season, many people thought the Browns were blessed by the "too many QBs" problem, too. However, Brady Quinn has been pretty horrible and Derek Anderson turned out to be a great big phony. They've put up two disappointing seasons in a row with almost nothing to show for on offense. They traded Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards, the only true offensive weapons they had at the beginning of the 2009 season. During the last few weeks of the season, however, they discovered an offensive strategy that may prove effective in the foreseeable future: Direct snap to Jerome Harrison 75 times a game.
The Browns suffered a close loss to a very good Chargers team before Eric Mangini coached the Browns to a victory over the Steelers for the first time since
1492 2003. Before that win, the Browns were 1-11. That was the beginning of a four game win streak which absolutely wrecked their chances of getting the first pick. The Browns drafted two wide receivers early last year, and actually have a competent offensive line lead by a great left tackle, Joe Thomas. The emergence of Jerome Harrison and the development of their young receivers may put this team a QB away from a respectable offense.
Which of the Eagles QBs would they prefer? Would they want any? It's not as though Brady Quinn is a lost cause. He hasn't played well but you can't declare him a bust just yet. Is Derek Anderson beyond salvaging? Probably, yeah. Mangini made a move for a veteran QB named Brett Favre when he thought he was a QB away from success, and he might do it again. Could McNabb head to the Browns? I don't think it's completely out of the question.
EDIT: As a few others have pointed out, former Eagles GM has just been appointed in Cleveland, and Andy Reid is known for dealing with former Eagle connections. The Browns have some potential trade ammo in Derek Anderson (for a backup role) and Joshua Cribbs. I've updated this scenario. I still don't think McNabb moves this year, but if he does, I think Cleveland or San Francisco are his most likely destinations, with Cleveland slightly more likely.
3/10 UPDATED: 5/10
Most likely to trade for: McNabb
The Oakland Raiders
The Raiders. They got us into the playoffs in 2008 and kept us from winning the division in 2009. Those bastards. Who knows what's up with this team? They beat the Steelers, the Broncos, the Eagles, the Bengals, and the Chiefs. They left JaMarcus Russell as the starting QB for half the season even though he might be the worst QB in the league right now. It's not his fault, though. The Raiders can't hire good coaches because they won't work for Al Davis.
The Raiders have a somewhat respectable defense to work with. They have a reliable tight end in Zach Miller, who has to be considered their best offensive weapon. Darren McFadden hasn't been completely wrecked by the Raiders coaching staff just yet. Their receivers leave something to be desired, though. Who knows where this team is heading or what they will do?
If the Eagles are lucky, the Raiders questions at QB and Al Davis's renowned obsession with speed work to our advantage. I think this is the most likely destination for any Eagles QB. Don't tell Al Davis, but I think the Eagles would let go of Vick for a 4th. They might be able to get a 3rd and a 5th from the Raiders, or maybe even a second. I've seen crazier things out of Oakland.
Trade likeliness: 7/10
Most likely to trade for: Vick
The poor Redskins. Another once proud franchise ruined by an idiot owner. Good for us, but you have to feel a little bad for Redskins fans in recent years. The revolving door at head coach and coaching staff positions has left players with no sense of direction. They fought through a lot of obstacles this year, but still came up short all year, going 0-6 against the NFC East.
A QB that goes to the Redskins inherits a very good defense, but a lot of problems on offense. Their running game has little to nothing going for it. The running back by committee was ineffective. They have young receivers that may blossom in their third year. Chris Cooley is a very good tight end who went down early with an ankle injury. However, the problems all start with the offensive line. A QB who goes here will get hit hard and often.
Would Andy Reid trade a QB to a division rival? Probably not. Who would he pawn off? McNabb? Unthinkable, right? If
Dan Snyder's puppet Bruce Allen made a massive offer, Andy Reid would have to consider it. I think it's crazy, trust me. I don't wanna see McNabb in a Redskins jersey at all. I just have a weird feeling it's possible in a bizzaro world. Shanahan never had luck drafting QBs and he might just wanna say screw it and grab a veteran QB at any cost.
Trade likeliness: 0.01/10
Most likely to trade for: McNabb
Alex Smith re-emerged as a possible solution for the 49ers at QB. This is a team that is young and hungry to win. Mike Singletary is no-nonsense and driven to turn this into a winning franchise. They've improved the last two years and have a lot going for them.
On offense, they've got Frank Gore. He's a beast. They have Vernon Davis. He became a beast this year. They have Michael Crabtree. I think he's one pre-season away from being a beast. This team is a solid QB from an explosive offense. This is probably the best team in the league with questions at QB.
So who do they get from us? The price for McNabb might be just right. They have a middle of the pack first round pick, which is right where Andy Reid likes to pick from. That and a 4th might entice the Eagles to part ways with him. There's a chance they want Vick, but I just don't see that happening.
Trade likeliness: 5/10
Most likely to be traded: McNabb
What will the Eagles consider?
Keep McNabb and Kolb, trade Vick.
I think this is the most likely scenario. After the loss to the Cowboys, many Eagles fans are disgusted with McNabb. How totally uncharacteristic of Eagles fans.
Andy Reid is the coach of this team, and #5 is probably the QB. Reid and McNabb's careers are forever intertwined. McNabb was Reid's first draft pick and his starting quarterback since midway through McNabb's rookie season. Will he finally cut ties with McNabb? Don't count on it. After the Eagles scored more points than they ever had before, I think Andy Reid is confident in his quarterback and happy with his situation at QB. Kolb is a good backup, and if McNabb's skills do decline, Kolb can step in, temporarily or perhaps permanently. I think McNabb and Kolb are here to stay for 2010, and the Eagles make a decision after that season on what to do.
Trade McNabb and Vick, and name Kolb the starter.
I believe this is the second most likely scenario, but it is a risky one. Andy Reid is confident in Kevin Kolb. Eagles fans should have a bit of faith in him, too. The risk here is that we would go into the season without a proven backup. Maybe we could sign Jeff Garcia, but who's to say he'll even be available? He may stay away from football or sign somewhere else. Other backup QBs will be available. This is certainly a possibility. I'm not sure anyone could fault the Eagles for going in this direction. Sometimes it's just time to cut ties and get what you can from a trade. We'll never know what we have in Kolb if he stays on the bench forever.
Start Vick, trade McNabb and Kolb
Trade Kolb and Vick, keep McNabb
This I don't see happening. I say this because I don't think anyone will offer what Big Red would want for Kolb (at least a first round pick).
FINAL WORD (THE TL;DR SUMMARY)
I think the Eagles wait another season to decide the fate of McNabb and Kolb. I think Vick is as good as gone to the highest bidder. However, there is the distinct possibility that we go into this season with Kolb as the starter and both McNabb and Vick are gone.
Is there something I didn't cover? Is there another possibility you could see happening? What do you want to happen? Think I'm an idiot? Talk about it here. I put a lot of time into this, so rec it if you think it deserves it. If not, rec something else. Whatev.